Autoionization of spin-polarized metastable helium in tight anisotropic harmonic traps

Beams, Timothy J., Whittingham, Ian B., and Peach, Gillian (2007) Autoionization of spin-polarized metastable helium in tight anisotropic harmonic traps. Physical Review A (Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics), 76 (6). pp. 1-6.

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Spin-dipole mediated interactions between tightly confined metastable helium atoms couple the spin-polarized quintet 5+ g state to the singlet 1+g state from which autoionization is highly probable, resulting in finite lifetimes for the trap eigenstates. We extend our earlier study on spherically symmetric harmonic traps to the interesting cases of axially symmetric anisotropic harmonic traps and report results for the lowest 10 states in ”cigar-like” and ”pancake-like” traps with average frequencies of 100 kHz and 1 MHz. We find that there is a significant suppression of ionization, and subsequent increase in lifetimes, at trap aspect ratios A = p/q, where p and q are integers, for those states that are degenerate in the absence of collisions or spin-dipole interactions.

Item ID: 2210
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1094-1622
Keywords: atomic physics; cold atoms; metastable helium
Date Deposited: 07 May 2009 00:58
FoR Codes: 02 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 0202 Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle and Plasma Physics > 020201 Atomic and Molecular Physics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences @ 100%
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